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The Slaight Family Foundation Gifts $1.5 Million To The Shaw Festival

Repertory theatre company one of several Canadian theatre companies receiving support.

The Slaight Family Foundation Gifts $1.5 Million To The Shaw Festival

The Shaw Festival is thrilled to be one of the recipients of The Slaight Family Foundation Theatre Initiative. The transformational gift of $1.5 million will further assist the Niagara-on-the-Lake-based theatre company's recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We so deeply appreciate this generous gift to The Shaw and, are even more grateful for The Slaight Family Foundation's incredible support of the theatre community," acknowledged Executive Director Tim Jennings. "The Slaight Family Foundation has long championed artistic practice development and stability. While COVID continues to affect the entire industry, the Foundation, through this incredible gift, has ensured so many theatres now have the ability to survive until audiences find their way back to them."

"We are delighted to be one of the beneficiaries of this newly created initiative by The Slaight Family Foundation and truly thankful for their continued support of the work created here at The Shaw," said Artistic Director Tim Carroll.

"The forced closure of theatres because of the pandemic has devastated the theatre industry," said Gary Slaight, President and CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation. "Even now, with audiences nervous to return since reopening, we are still seeing shows being rescheduled and cancelled, sometimes the same day. We're very happy to support these organizations so they can focus on the work of creating and bringing back audiences."

The Slaight Family Foundation Theatre Initiative provides a financial safety net that will enable theatre companies to take artistic risks and reignite creative processes - both vital to bring audiences back. Over the next two years, this initiative will provide support for artist fees, production development and marketing costs.

The Slaight Family's inspired leadership, as well as both collective and individual generosity, have been part of the Shaw Festival's story for decades. In addition to establishing The Academy with Artistic Director Emeritus Christopher Newton in 1985, Allan Slaight served as a Board member from 1982 to 1988 and as Board Chair from 1985 to 1986. He and Mr. Newton (along with a committee of others) also founded The Shaw Boxing Evening, which has raised over $11 million for the Festival. An exemplary leader and patron as well, Ada Slaight served on the Board from 1990 to 1998 as a Governor, National Governor and Honorary Governor.

In 2009, The Slaight Family Foundation invested in The Academy with a $5 million gift over ten years that allowed for the creation of additional professional training programs for Shaw company members and a series of programs designed to inform, enrich and deepen The Shaw experience. In appreciation, The Academy was renamed The Slaight Family Academy. In 2019, The Slaight Family Foundation renewed their support for a further $5 million over 10 years, to 2028, ensuring the continued growth of both programs and The Shaw's endowment.

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